Thursday, 5 October 2006

Police investigation: Incompetence or corruption?

Subscribers to The Free Radical would have at their fingertips all they need to evaluate the actions of the police in not prosecuting the Labour Party. In the 'Stolen Election' issue (right) released back in July, David Farrar pointed out
not only were Labour let off their over-spending, but they had ignored clear warnings prior to the election from the Chief Electoral Officer, and also reneged on an agreement with the Chief Electoral Officer. Despite all this the Police took no action. Why? The only answers are either incompetence, or timidity towards the Government bordering on corruption. The Police made mistakes so basic that the author has concluded that they should lose their power to investigate and decide upon prosecutions relating to the Electoral Act.
The Police began an 'investigation,' but they took no legal advice, undertook no interviews, kept no records, investigated the wrong thing, and then ran out of time. It was the investigation you have when you're not having an investigation.

A perusal of the papers released from the Police show they made three fundamental errors. These were:
(a) They confused the issue of whether the pledge card should have been funded from a parliamentary budget with the issue of whether it constituted election advertising;

(b) They didn’t even investigate the more serious over-spending offence, instead focusing all their efforts on the lack of authorisation;

(c) They failed to realise an offence under Section 221 is one of strict liability, where intent is not necessary.
Incompetence or corruption? Both? Hard to know for sure, but we do know:
During the period of the investigation, many senior police officers were applicants for the roles of Police Commissioner and Deputy Police Commissioner -- which are personally appointed by the Prime Minister. One can only wonder how much of an impact this had on the police decision making...
Indeed. And if you want to keep three months ahead of the play, then maybe you should think about subscribing to The Free Rad now ...

LINK: Free Radical 71: The Stolen Election - SOLO

RELATED: Politics-NZ, Politics-Labour, Darnton V Clark


  1. I work off that corruption (especially one involving an elaborate conspiracy) requires a reasonable level of intelligence. Pretty much leaves out the doofus who opined that investigating breeches of electoral law was a 'distraction' from 'real crime'. It would be comforting to think there is Machiavellian skullduggery at play here; sadly, it looks more like pure incompetence from people who knew nothing about electoral law, and cared even less.

  2. You're probably right, Craig. As is so often the case, the cock up theory beats the conspiracy theory.

  3. The problem is, the cock-ups seem to follow a pattern.


1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say, it's important enough to put a name to.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.